Keith aged 32, pictured far right, with East End Surf Lifesaving Club Kevin Harrison, Dave Butler and Patrick Bennett Taranaki’s first tri-marathon in 1982. (File photo)
A pedestrian who died after being struck by a car in Tokoroa in the early hours of Sunday was an avid rugby fan who had just finished watching the history-making All Blacks test.
Keith Robert Roebuck, 70, from New Plymouth, died following the crash on State Highway 1.
His wife, Louise, was also injured and is in a critical condition in Waikato Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.
Keith Roebuck’s son, Anthony Roebuck, said the family was still coming to terms with the crash, while supporting their step-mother Louise as she goes through multiple surgeries.
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Anthony said his father, his wife of 25 years, and two other couples had travelled from New Plymouth to Tokoroa in three camper vans on Friday night for a food festival on Saturday.
After going to the festival, they hit a local pub to watch the Bledisloe Cup test between the All Blacks and Australia. “He was a huge rugby fan,” Anthony said.
They then walked 500 metres up to where their camper vans were parked, when the couple were struck by a car on a pedestrian crossing.
Keith Roebuck was well known within Taranaki’s construction industry, with the Roebuck family building homes in the region for more than 40 years.
His father, also named Keith, started Roebuck Construction in 1946, before selling it in the 1980s.
Keith Roebuck then started his own construction business in New Plymouth, which he ran for 35 years before setting up a partnership with Anthony as K&A Roebuck Construction. He retired in 2014 and Anthony took over.
Keith was also a life member of the East End Surf Lifesaving Club. The flag at the club flew half-mast on Monday.
“He’s pretty well-known in the community. He’s a bit of a legend for all the sporting achievements he’s done,” Anthony said.
Keith played for Tukapa Rugby Club for most of his life and once he stopped playing, he would watch every single game without failure.
“He just doesn’t miss it.”
He then started competing in the Coast to Coast, coming first in his age group and picked up road cycling.
“The only good thing is he’s had six years now fully retired,” Anthony said. “They had this campervan, they tripped around. They’ve had a pretty good time.”
The siblings would miss their dad’s advice and support.
“He’s really inspirational. I really looked up to him,” he said.
“He was our role model. He encouraged us to do what we wanted to do,” Anthony said.
He is survived by six children and nine grandchildren.
Enquiries into the circumstances of the crash were ongoing and a police spokeswoman said it was too early to speculate on what may have caused the crash.